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All organizations, from multinational corporations to small nonprofits, need people with an intricate understanding of business practices, finances, and marketing. In fact, over 192,000 students graduated from MBA programs in 2017-2018, making up over 20% of all master's graduates that year.
An online MBA in human resources degree is a flexible option that can allow you to attend school while maintaining your current employment. While a master's in human resources features specialized coursework in employee-employer relations, an MBA in HR is a broader, more well-rounded business degree that provides various paths for employment. Graduates qualify to work in both HR and other managerial positions.
This page explores some of the top online MBA in human resources programs across the country. You can also find information about potential careers, common courses, and admission requirements.
What Are the Best Online MBA in Human Resources Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|1||University of Saint Francis||Joliet, IL|
|2||Concordia University Wisconsin||Mequon, WI|
|3||University of Houston - Clear Lake||Houston, TX|
|4||Nova Southeastern University||Fort Lauderdale, FL|
|5||Mercer University||Macon, GA|
|6||Pennsylvania State University||University Park, PA|
|7||Johnson & Wales University||Providence, RI|
|8||Averett University||Danville, VA|
|9||University of West Florida||Pensacola, FL|
|10||DeSales University||Center Valley, PA|
- How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students. Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology here. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2020 Best Accredited Online MBA in Human Resources Programs
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University of Saint Francis
|Joliet, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 62%||
USF, a private institution located in Joliet, Illinois, holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and serves approximately 3,800 students. Distance students enjoy remote access to USF's online MBA in human resources.
Pupils in this program prepare for global and competitive business challenges, explore leadership skills in decision making, and learn administrative components. Remote students at USF can pursue one of eight concentrations, including human resource management, training and development, supply chain management, finance, and accounting.
In most cases, online learners can complete the program in as little as 12 months. Each applicant must possess a bachelor's degree in business, economics, accounting, or a related field from an accredited institution. Additionally, each prospective MBA in human resources student needs two years of full-time employment or military service in a management role.
Concordia University Wisconsin
|Mequon, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Located in Mequon, Wisconsin, CUW offers remote students an MBA in human resources. The private, nonprofit institution is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and holds a religious affiliation with the Lutheran Church.
The MBA in human resource management at CUW helps students acquire the necessary skills to manage relationships between employers and their employees. The curriculum focuses on critical areas, such as employee benefits and compensation, conflict management, insurance, recruitment, and communication skills.
Remote MBA students need 36 credits for graduation. Required courses include managerial economics, ethics in organizational leadership, applied statistical methods, corporate finance, and strategic management.
Each prospective student must submit an online application, including a personal essay, resume, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts from an accredited bachelor's program for consideration.
University of Houston - Clear Lake
|Houston, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
UHCL is a public school in Houston, Texas, with an online MBA in human resources. The school boasts 9,100 students and offers more than 90 academic programs. Learners can complete the program entirely online with no on-campus obligations.
Remote students complete 36 credit hours for graduation and follow eight-week, accelerated course schedules. Most full-time learners need 14 months to complete the program. The human resource management concentration courses include employee planning, staffing, and selection; compensation and benefits; labor relations; training and development; and the legal aspects of human resource management.
Prospective students apply with the ApplyTexas.org online application, including an application fee and their official transcripts. Interested students in the online MBA in human resources must also submit their GRE scores for consideration. Learners can take advantage of remote support services, including tutoring and library access.
Nova Southeastern University
|Fort Lauderdale, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, NSU is a private nonprofit institution with regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The school offers an MBA with an available concentration in human resource management. Students can complete this degree entirely online.
This online MBA in human resources requires students to complete 40-49 credit hours for graduation, depending on their undergraduate coursework. Required courses include financial management, marketing decisions for managers, managing human resources, and accounting for decision-makers. In most cases, full-time learners complete the program in 18-21 months.
Learners interested in pursuing an online MBA in human resources each need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Online applications must include an application fee and official transcripts.
|Macon, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 66%||
Mercer is a nonprofit private school located in Macon, Georgia, with regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Remote students can take advantage of its online MBA in human resources.
Students need 36-45 credit hours for graduation. Required courses include managerial economics, accounting, issues in business law and corporate responsibility, corporate finance, and ethical leadership.
Learners choose from specialized tracks, including human resources, health management, and general business. Students complete 12 credit hours from the specialized track. Additionally, each degree-seeker needs to complete a capstone course for graduation.
Online MBA students follow a self-paced curriculum that allows them to create their own schedules. Many full-time learners at Mercer complete the program in as little as 18 months.
Pennsylvania State University
|University Park, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
Penn State holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and offers an online MBA in human resources. Located in University Park, Pennsylvania, the public university serves approximately 100,000 students and offers more than 150 academic programs.
The online MBA at Penn State requires 48 credits for graduation. Degree-seekers explore critical areas of the field, including problem-solving, business analytics, critical thinking, and cross-functional business savvy. Penn State prides itself on offering more than 20 concentrations for MBA degree-seekers, including specializations in human resource management, strategic leadership, and homeland security.
Distance students can complete this program entirely online, except for a required five-day residency held in University Park at the beginning of their coursework.
Johnson & Wales University
|Providence, RI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
Located in Providence, Rhode Island, JWU is a private school with regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). Founded in 1914, the school today boasts approximately 13,000 students. Distance students enjoy remote access to dozens of online graduate degrees, including an MBA in human resources.
This human resources management degree typically takes full-time students two years to complete. JWU offers accelerated courses in an eight-week format. Faculty members deliver a diverse curriculum covering essential areas of the field, including business policy and strategy, operations management, labor and employee relations, and strategic recruiting.
Each prospective student must submit an online application, which requires two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and their official transcripts. Enrolled distance students enjoy remote access to academic advisors, tutoring sessions, career services, and information technology support.
|Danville, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
Averett is a private nonprofit school in Danville, Virginia. The school, founded in 1859, is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and holds religious affiliation with the Baptist Church. Distance students enjoy remote access to its online MBA in human resources.
This 40-credit master's degree features specialized human resources classes that cover employment and labor laws and regulations; conflict management and negotiation; employee recruitment, hiring, and training; and compensation and benefits management. Required classes include management accounting, contemporary issues of leadership, marketing strategies, and application of quantitative principles.
Prospective students must possess a 3.0 or higher GPA in the final 60 credits of their bachelor's program for consideration.
University of West Florida
|Pensacola, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 43%||
Located in Pensacola, Florida, UWF is a public university with an online MBA in human resources. The school is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
The 36-credit semester hour MBA features in-person and online cohort learning formats to best serve working professionals. The human resources management emphasis requires learners to complete four classes, including recruitment and selection, performance management, compensation and benefits, and strategic issues in human resources management.
Each candidate must submit their GMAT scores, a current resume, a personal statement of educational objectives, two letters of recommendation, and a series of answers to essay questions for consideration. Prospective pupils need at least a 450 on the GMAT or an equivalent GRE score.
|Center Valley, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 71%||
DeSales is a private university in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. With regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the school offers dozens of online programs, including an MBA in human resources.
Learners complete seven core classes, four classes in human resource management, and a capstone course for graduation. Required classes include financial management, executive skills development, business computing, and marketing management.
Each online MBA candidate must submit an online application with a current resume, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and official transcripts reflecting a 3.0 or higher GPA from an accredited institution. DeSales also requires MBA applicants to possess an undergraduate course history in macroeconomics, microeconomics, marketing, management, financial accounting, managerial accounting, and statistics.
What Can I Expect From an Online MBA in Human Resources Program?
Emphasizing an overall understanding of business, an online MBA in human resources is an excellent option for students who want to explore various aspects of management while pursuing a career in HR.
A career in HR may appeal to those who enjoy working closely with others, possess effective leadership skills, and are proficient at problem-solving. An online MBA in human resources is a great fit for students interested in HR, but who would also like the flexibility to explore broader business careers.
Unlike a master's in HR, which focuses on specialized human resources topics, an MBA in HR features a broader curriculum that covers basic business concepts. Students complete the bulk of their coursework in business, finances, marketing, and economics while taking specialized HR classes. Emphasizing an overall understanding of business, an online MBA in human resources is an excellent option for students who want to explore various aspects of management while pursuing a career in HR.
Typically requiring a minimum of 36 credits, an online MBA in human resources often takes about two years to complete. Students may choose from part-time and full-time options, depending on the program. Some schools require MBA students to take part in an internship.
Graduates with an online MBA in human resources are qualified to enter a variety of business- and HR-oriented positions in many types of organizations, including healthcare organizations, multinational corporations, and nonprofits.
Admission Requirements for Online MBA in Human Resources Programs
Applying to an online MBA in HR program may seem daunting, but breaking down the application process into manageable steps can help. Before applying, make sure you meet specific program requirements, such as holding a sufficient GPA.
Basic admission requirements include:
- Application and fees
- Official transcripts
- Letters of recommendation
- Personal essay or statement
Some online MBA in HR programs may require that applicants have two or more years of experience in a related field. Programs may also ask for a professional resume and test scores from the GRE or GMAT. Some schools accept learners from all backgrounds, while others require a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as business, economics, or accounting.
Although the graduate admissions processes for many programs are similar, check specific requirements for each school. For more information, read our Graduate Admissions Guide.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online MBA in Human Resources Program?
Although exact details vary by school, an online MBA in human resources typically features 36-48 credits. Because the program is a business degree with an HR emphasis, students complete coursework in business, finance, marketing, and economics, along with HR-specific courses. Some programs also require students to complete an internship.
- Business Finance
This introductory course helps students understand the basics of managing a company's finances. Learners study concepts such as time value, organizational budgeting, data analysis, and cash flow. The course also provides students with hands-on experience preparing financial statements.
- Business Statistics
This class highlights the foundational concepts of statistics and how those concepts are relevant to business practices. Participants learn how to collect and describe statistical information for business purposes, such as marketing. This course also incorporates software applications and provides students with an in-depth study of data analysis and data interpretation.
- Ethics and Organizational Leadership
Emphasizing effective leadership skills, this course delves into various aspects of business ethics. Participants evaluate company policies through the lens of ethical principles and theories. Learners explore real-life problems facing businesses today while honing their leadership skills.
- Compensation and Benefits
This course explores introductory philosophies of motivation and compensation in the workplace. Using these concepts, participants design and implement a compensation system to improve production.
- MBA Internship
An internship gives students the chance to practice newly developed skills. Providing relevant experience, an internship allows learners to work in a business environment, build their professional network, and receive career advice.
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What Can I Do With an Online MBA in Human Resources Degree?
Graduates with an online MBA in human resources can pursue several high-paying careers, and HR jobs are in relatively high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 6% job growth for HR managers from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This translates to an estimated increase of over 10,000 jobs.
Due to the degree's broad nature, graduates can pursue jobs in a variety of adjacent positions outside of HR. According to the BLS, those who work in business-related careers often earn more than other workers.
For example, candidates with an MBA in HR may qualify to become sales managers or financial advisors. The median pay for sales managers in 2019 was $126,640, and the BLS projects 4% job growth for this position between 2019 and 2029.
Find out more about your options with an MBA in HR degree and learn more about HR careers here.
- Human Resources Manager
An HR manager is in charge of recruiting and hiring new employees, creating company policies, resolving workplace conflicts, and facilitating disciplinary investigations and terminations. When working for a larger organization, HR managers may lead an HR department that consists of one or more HR specialists. In a smaller organization, an HR manager may work alone.
- HR Analytics Manager
Typically working in larger companies, HR analytics managers use statistics and other information to help organizations make informed, data-driven decisions related to the well-being of employees. They also optimize employee benefits and performance measures. HR analytics managers collect, analyze, and interpret data to create effective company policy recommendations.
- Hiring Manager
Usually working as part of a larger HR team, hiring managers specialize in all aspects of the hiring process. Starting with the recruitment process, a hiring manager creates recruitment protocols and oversees recruitment events. Other job duties include creating job descriptions, vetting applicants, and interviewing candidates.
- Training and Development Manager
Focusing on furthering the professional development of employees, training and development managers help workers improve their job skills and advance their careers. Training and development managers create professional development schedules, design curricula, and lead classes and workshops for employees.
- Vice President of HR
The vice president of HR works with executive leadership to oversee the HR operations of a company. Ensuring the organization is in compliance with HR policies and laws, the vice president of HR is responsible for establishing and enforcing best practices. The vice president of HR recruits and hires HR managers and is responsible for training and evaluating the HR staff.
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Frequently Asked Questions About MBA in Human Resources Programs
- Is an MBA in human resources worth it?
If you are interested in HR, an MBA in human resources can be quite beneficial. Earning an MBA in HR makes you more competitive than applicants who only hold a bachelor's degree, and you may also earn a higher salary.
- What can I do with an MBA in human resources?
An MBA in human resources focuses on the business of HR. Students graduate with a strong understanding of operations, finance, and management. Having an MBA in HR allows you to work in mid- and high-level managerial positions within human resources. It can also prepare you to work in other areas of business, such as finance.
- Is HR a stable career?
HR can be a great long-term career. Because of the various available roles in HR, as well as the diversity of work environments for HR professionals, there should be ample opportunities to advance your career. HR is also a growing field. The BLS projects 6% job growth for HR managers from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than average.
- How much money can I make with an MBA in human resources?
HR managers earn a median pay of $116,720, although a worker's specific title, location, industry, and experience all influence their salary. For example, HR managers working in healthcare and social assistance earn a median annual salary of about $99,000, while those in professional, scientific, and technical services make more than $131,000.
- What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with an MBA in human resources?
Careers that require applicants to have an MBA in human resources typically offer competitive salaries. The highest paying jobs are managerial positions — especially higher-level executive management roles. HR managers, vice presidents of HR, and specialities managers often earn the most.